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Old 07-09-2008, 10:13   #16
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Aloha Jeff and Grace,
Please consider all options from 32 on up to 55. Go aboard as many boats as possible and check their layouts. Goldie has made some good points that applied to him personally. I have experiences that apply to me personally. None of us have the answer that will apply to you personally. Everything in boats is a trade off. If you want ease of sailing in and out of a slip or less expensive gear then smaller is better. If what you want is liveaboard room then bigger is better. My personal preference is 32-36 LOD, fiberglass, aft cockpit, cutter with a diesel engine. I'm not going to tell you what you should buy but only that you might want to consider other options than the bigger boats.
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Old 07-09-2008, 18:04   #17
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Well SkiprJohn, you gave me the same advice and I disregarded it <g>.

I bought a smaller boat (28.5 ft). Easier to moor and to sail. If/when I'm ready to cruise full-time, I might look at a 45-55 ft. ketch.

It seemed to me that boats in the 34-36 ft range (and I looked at a ton of them) were a little too large to daysail conveniently, but too small to be full-time cruisers. The "one size fits all" approach did not work for me.
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Old 07-09-2008, 18:15   #18
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another +1 on getting a smaller boat. I have a 41 foot boat that I live on and single hand, but I secretly look at some of my firends' 30-32 footers with envy... get the smallest boat that you can get away with.
solo sailing an engineless Cal 2-27 to Australia
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Old 07-09-2008, 18:18   #19
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To whom it may concern.
I don't mind if you disagree with me. I will still respect you as kindred sailors and will respect your point of vew when you express one.
Kind regards,
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Old 07-09-2008, 20:45   #20
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I have a CSY 44 and my wife and I wish we had 88 feet.

In your search take a good hard look at the layout of the master stateroom. Sometimes, it is really nice to be able to slide in or out of bed without having to climb over your spouse.

Like when you have been out later than expected and you don't want to wake her up.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:34   #21
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Originally Posted by Heffe View Post
I am very skilled when it comes to woodworking, plumbing, electrical and mechanical things so the constant maintenence does not scare me...

Jeff, it sounds to me like you have many of the crucial skills we all wish we had, and I’m guessing, the insight to see how things should work even if you’ve not seen a particular thingamajig before – and because of that your options are probably a bit broader than those of us with five left thumbs… I’m sure as you window-shop a few actual boats, you’ll become much more focused on a particular size and layout that seems to answer your needs; however, the amount of work it takes to maintain a vessel is (in my opinion) more in proportion to its displacement than its length – assuming high-tech boats are compared with high-tech, and average low-tech construction with average, etc., etc…

A good book on the basics of surveying boats should steer you in the right direction so you can catalogue the vulnerabilities and advantages of various types of construction… I’m not particularly concerned with balsa cored decks, for instance, but they do need to be checked… on the other hand I prefer no coring below the deck, but many skippers have the skills so that this is no mystery to them… All boats (like houses, cars, horse, people, whatever…) need maintenance, the trick is to purchase one that doesn’t need immediate maintenance to be made acceptable… especially immediate structural repair… nonetheless, simple things like bilge-pump or holding-tank repairs at 03:00 are not fun either -- even if you are tied to a dock. So shopping for a well-maintained vessel is half the battle once the basic layout has been decided…

Good luck…
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:55   #22
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Talk to the owners of sister-ships, find out how they have held up over the years. Contract a pro to review the boats you are interested in, maybe Perry.

Look at the construction of the hull deck flange, best is a substantial flange with the deck bolted and glassed to the hull.

Look at the tabbing on all bulkheads, has any of it broken, that would indicate the hull is flexing.

Look at the chainplate attachment points. Can it be serviced?

Engine, wiring, rigging,,,,can all be replaced or upgraded.

When you make an offer, write in the offer that you require one week on the boat to look at everything, before you sign.

Set aside and escrow account for the engine if the boat is out of the water, not to be released until you are satisfied.

Buy a book on boat design and building techniques.

You get the idea. Good luck.

Kids and cruisers enjoying Grand Case

Originally Posted by Heffe View Post
What will play a big part in my decision is the actual construction of the vessel. I need to educate myself on what makes a one boat better than another boat?
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Old 08-09-2008, 16:05   #23
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I've climbed up onto that dock!

Whatever boat your choose, just get out there and cruise! Cruising is a great lifestyle! And, if you get to St. Martin, Grand Case is where the really good restaurants are!
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